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Chris, unless you account for the distibution of the wage share, surely it is not enough to take the aggregate share going to wages and say "enough is going to the many?" A absurd example would be if one bloke - let's call him Mr Rich - took home all the wages in the land, leaving none for everyone else, but he had a pay rise, the wage share would rise, no? An analysis of what's happened to median salary over the same time period - a bit more sophisticated than my attempt at - might show something different...
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2013 on The wage problem at Stumbling and Mumbling
nice piece - only I wonder if there's a significant variable that you and to some extent Maening and Wilhelm miss out. That is to say, it may not be the fact of losing one's job that determines how steep the loss of wellbeing is, but rather the disastrous consequences of losing all income and having to rely on paltry State handouts, possibly losing one's home and being cut out from the consumer society. In other words, I wonder if the asymmetry holds in say Denmark, where their welfare State implements the principles of Flexicirity - arguably the most flexible labour market with large turnover in jobs and scant employment rights in the classical sense, but backed up by the security of knowing that losing one's job need not mean losing everything because of the generous retraining programmes and adequate benefits the State gives. So could you in fact have the significant rates of job turnover allied to high wellbeing if publiv policy mitigated the worst effects of being unemployed and reduced the period of time one was without work? thanks!
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2011 on Worker democracy works at Stumbling and Mumbling
By and large I agree - thanks for supporting the libel reform cause, and for discussing the flagrant abuse of libel law that Cohen details - but I'm afraid I have to take issue with you on the accusation of Lib Dem lies. We did not lie, we produced a manifesto (as all parties do) that we would have implemented had we won the election (I resisted the temptation to use capital letters there but I do want to emphasise that point...). We didn't win, we entered into a coalition instead and got the opportunity to implement much of what we'd promise - but not all. That is not lying, it's grown-up politics. Why not accuse the Tories of lying over inheritance tax, over voting reform and over raising the personal tax allowance - all of these are things that Tories have had to depart from their manifesto in - why no accusations of lying there?
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2010 on Threats to freedom at Stumbling and Mumbling
sorry, HTML fail - the discussion is at
Excellent post - you may find this Radio 5 phone-in discussion from last Friday interesting, includes Evan Harris, Padraid Reidy from Index on Censorship, some rather illiberal personages who take things (including threats clearly made in jest, towards the end) and a cameo from me as well
a better way to claw back child benefit from the rich would have been to keep the benefit universal, but simply to raise the top rate of tax. But a Tory Chancellor wouldn't do this. Or, keep child benefit (and winter fuel allowance, for that matter) universal, and tax it (them), a la IPPR Currently reading Amartya Sen's Idea of Justice, some answers to be found there I reckon
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2010 on The topology of justice at Stumbling and Mumbling
oops, links didn't work for some reason - my posts were and
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2010 on The pretence of knowledge at Stumbling and Mumbling
Cracking post. One of the major criticisms the Tories and Lib Dems had of NuLab government was that it felt top-down, central diktat could reform and improve public services - which was always doubtful at best. Turns out they now want to reform science (which isn't a public service anyway, more an endeavour which is in part publicly funded) by, err, top-down central diktat - or something along those lines. I've blogged about this myself ( here and here), would appreciate comments - oh and Chris, what price you joining Twitter so that these brilliant blogposts of yours can get an even wider audience...? :-)
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2010 on The pretence of knowledge at Stumbling and Mumbling
Is there a link to the actual speech anywhere? Would like to read what Cable proposed...
Just to clarify - were these underperforming banks nationalised before, during or after the period in question? Could it not be that the banks were underperforming, therefore nationalised, and then continued to be rubbish by dint of point #1...?
Hmm. forgive my ignorance, but doesn't it depend on how many jobs are lost as a result of these or any other cuts? It isn't about the fraction of GDP the cuts signify (0.6% or otherwise), it's about how many contracts and projects will be cancelled, how many employees will be laid off as a result. If Osborne (and Laws) manage to make £6bn worth of savings without anyone losing their jobs, then I can see how the net effect may be neutral at worst or stimulatory at best - but if cutting central government spending means cutting jobs, doesn't that mean more unemployed people (hence greater welfare spending unless they all find alternative emploi elsewhere), reduced demand on the economy and therefore greater private sector contraction...? If bureaucracy is the enemy then so be it, but evil though their pen-pushing may be, a jobless bureaucrat still sucks demand from the economy no...? That is at least me simplistic understanding, and why I am somewhat nervous about the drastic spending cuts to come... [prepares for a lesson in economics 101...]
Toggle Commented May 19, 2010 on £6bn - no big deal at Stumbling and Mumbling
Piracy may well benefit record sales - or at the very least does not appear to hinder all that much - according to the music industry lobby the BPI. Their own figures show that sales of singles (digital and hard-copy) were at record levels last year... record companies that railed against the DEB strike me as being in denial over the massive potential that online file-sharing has in terms of artist discovery - the 'market' created by file-sharing does the sorting-of-wheat-from-chaff for them and throws up web-phenomena that they could capitalise on, if only their business models were flexible enough!
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2010 on Benefits of piracy at Stumbling and Mumbling
If the idea is to help out first time buyers, why on Earth wouldn't you just build more houses or refurbish/renovate old ones, selling them for around £120k...?
Very interesting take on capabilities in public service provision. As you point out though, pecuniary status is not the only determining factor wrt capabilities. Encouraging those who experience poor public services to agitate for better is only likely to be effective if said agitation leads to improvements - i.e. if the public services are locally accountable. Example - commuters reliant on a train service can campaign till their blue in the face for punctuality/reliability/fair fares etc, but unless there's an obligation on the service provider to listen then all the raised expectations in the world won't alter the service (replace trains for schools/hospitals/roads/police as appropriate). Any thoughts on the appropriation of the capabilities approach (or an approximation thereof) by the likes of James Purnell, who I'm sure I don't have to remind you designed our current 'workfare' system of benefits...?
Interesting analysis. I imagine that those not fortunate enough to be in the 'capitalist class' (i.e. 99% of people I guess) would look at this trend and feel uncomfortable, particularly given that it was this class' actions that lead to the current recession - and that they seem immune to the ravages of the slump they created. Do you think (and I might be displaying Osborne-esque ignorance of economics here...) that profits could also be up because corporations are less accountable to their workers, the public and/or customers? An analogy I've used in the past is the amount of profit made by selling football shirts and video games - yes there's high demand so price is high, but profit margins are high because unaccountable companies divert more turnover to profit than re-investment or salary, essentially 'because they can get away with it politically.' Of course, I am not an economist so what do I know... :-)
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2010 on Profits in the recession at Stumbling and Mumbling
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Feb 26, 2010